Chelsea striker Diego Costa could yet escape retrospective punishment from The Football Association, despite multiple attacks on Arsenal players during the 2-0 Premier League win at Stamford Bridge. The Spanish international was booked after twice striking Laurent Koscielny and scratching and knocking over Gabriel Paulista, but it is unclear how much of the episode was seen by referee Mike Dean.
The FA will await Dean's report following the game but should the official include the incident in his findings then the governing body may not be able to take action against Costa, with the referee having already shown a yellow card to the Blues forward. If the incident is not included within the report then Dean will be shown video footage of the episode and asked if he would have taken additional measures. Retrospective action can still be taken by The FA in acts of violent conduct secondarily to a challenge for the ball, and in off-the-ball incidents where the officials saw only part of the coming together between the players.
Dean must submit his report from the game within 48 hours of full-time, but the FA will likely attempt to fast-track any action against Costa to ensure it takes effect for the Capital One Cup third round tie against Walsall. Should the Chelsea hitman be hit with a violent conduct charge, which carries a punishment of a three-match ban, then he will miss the cup tie against the League One side as well as the trip to Newcastle United and visit of Southampton in the Premier League.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was left fuming after the game, which saw Gabriel sent off for kicking out at Costa following the angry exchange between the two players. The French boss wants to see last season's top scorer for Chelsea banned but expects him to evade being reprimanded.
"That is the least they can do," the Arsenal boss said of a prospective punishment against Costa, according to The Daily Mail. "But he will do the same again next week and the week after and he always gets away with it.
"He can do what he wants and he stays on. Everyone else that responds to him has to be sent off. It's unacceptable. If you look at the pictures and what he does to Koscielny before: he pushes him down and hits him in the face.
"He always gets away with it. Honestly, it is surprising. I don't understand Mike Dean's decision at all. Not on the sending off but why does Diego Costa stay on the pitch and Gabriel is sent off? I accept Gabriel shouldn't react at all. But for me, he is always provoking and also uses the naivety of Mike Dean in this game.
Getting away with it
"Before the cross comes in he [Costa] hits him. We expect that kind of game, but you expect the referee to make the right decisions. I don't know deny Gabriel gets sent off – he deserves it if he deserves it. Although he goes down from very little. But he should not have done it and deserves a red card.
"For me it is nothing to do with strength, it is about making the right decisions, that is all you want. They are professional people and just have to make the right decisions.
"I don't want to judge Mike Dean overall but in this game it was surprising that Costa got away with what he did. You go into half-time with a red card and he stays on the pitch."
The Gunners boss will likely be investigated for his comments regarding Dean's performance while both sets of players from Chelsea and Arsenal could be punished after Dean was confronted on several occasions during the game. Any fine could be between £20,000 and £30,000 after new regulations were introduced by The FA during the off-season in order to protect officials.